Since November, there’s been a fridge running 24/7 on Oneida Street in Utica.
Every day, it’s restocked by the group of friends who put it there and people in the community.
“It’s different every single day,” said Troy Lockwood of Herkimer.
Hana Selimovic came to Utica as a refugee from Bosnia about 14 years ago. She doesn’t want anyone to feel embarrassed or ashamed to need food. She also wants to help stop the problem of food waste.
“When I was young, there were many, many times when putting food on the table was really hard, and to have had something like this as a resource would have been an incredible blessing,” Selimovic said.
She says a friend in New York City told her about the fridge idea. It inspired her and her friends to do the same here; buy a fridge, put it out, and keep filling it up as people take food.
“Just seeing how fast the stock goes, once it’s actually full, it goes to show how great the need is,” she said.
The fridge empties out fast, but the friends, and the community, are quick to refill it.
“I’m so grateful and I’m so appreciative that this has become so collectively successful,” Selimovic said.
In fact, they plan to put more fridges throughout Utica later this year and one in Herkimer.
“Once I helped out and saw how it took off here, and saw how big of a need there was, I decided that I wanted to do the same thing in my community where I live,” said Lockwood.
And that’s the goal; to help feed more people.
Volunteers and donations, especially electrolyte refreshments, are needed. For more information visit their Facebook pages; “Utica Community Fridge” and “Herkimer Community Fridge.”